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What worked for us. Hope this helps.

(768 Posts)
nectarina Sun 29-Jan-12 21:03:49

This post is going to be massive - no apologies however.

So I've posted at least 5 queries about DD's sleep and read about 1 billion threads, because DD only napped for 30mins  in the day, would only BF to sleep (since a newborn I wanted to get out of the habit, but nothing else did it). She spent  the first 5 months in her cot, only for us to end up co-sleeping so we could get a bit of rest. She would BF every 2 hours at  least in the night, and by the end she'd wake every half hour before we went to bed. I knew I couldn't do CC/CIO, I'm not  strong enough even if I thought that was the right thing to do, but I thought that I would be forced to if things carried on  the way they were.

We read No Cry Sleep Solution, which is complicated and didn't work for us.

So a friend had tried a technique, that she recommended and I thought that it was too much of a leap for DD, but i kept  the email, and one evening I sort of snapped and decided that IT WAS TIME. DD was  8 1/2months. I don't know from  what age this technique is recommended, but I don't think I'd have wanted to do this earlier, as you still have to cope with  the baby crying. I knew DD was ready because now she quite clearly has two cries - one properly sad and scared, the  other a bit shouty and put on, so when doing this technique you know what's going on (but I'd like to add that I still  comforted DD when she was shouty - she's still trying to say something, but I deÞ nitely wouldn't pick her up and panic!)

 I'll paste her email to me, hoping she won't mind. We didn't do it in the ten days, as it was just a bit too much, but i wonder if the way we did it made things a bit complicated. So I recommend doing it as laid out.  

But now DD takes 20mins to fall asleep by herself (with one of us in her room) in her cot, in her room. and I do not feed at  all between 7pm and 7am. Dh goes in in the night and he gives her water in case she's thirsty but she's quite happy  without. It takes him no more than about 3mins to resettle her (unless ill).

After starting this at the beginning of January  she still wakes up once or twice a night but it doesn't affect me as I wear earplugs and DH goes in! ha ha ha! (I still hear  her and wake up, but I don't wake up fully and find it difFicult to go back to sleep) Do I need to tell you how I feel like a  different woman?

So here's the email -  

^"Ok, this is a plan thing that we first tried with dc1 when we got to the point where we knew something had to change. There seems to come a point where not only do you get tired of 'helping' your baby get to sleep, but whatever you do seems to work less and less - as if they know something has to change too! It takes a bit of work for about ten days or so but mostly the first couple of days you really put your back into it and then it gets easier. I remember vaguely doing it with dc1 and have just rediscovered it with Dc2 she is a bit of a firecracker so I was expecting trouble but babies love to learn something new, especially around this age and she only woke once last night despite having a cold, which is a HUGE improvement. Dc1 found this very easy and never shed a tear. Dc2 screamed 'TRAITOR!!' at me many times during the first night (she does that a lot), so I'm not saying that there won't be some crying because you will be doing something different to before but you don't have to leave her side and can reassure her as much as you need to, physically and verbally. 
The idea is that you are no longer going to help her go to sleep - in whatever way - if you rock her, feed her, jiggle her, whatever it is. You can be there and reassure her but it is no longer your job to MAKE her go to sleep. It is your job to support her whilst she does it herself. 
First of all, you know that thing that everyone says about having a bedtime routine (which I imagine you already have) is utterly true. By the time they are a toddler, the sound of a running bath is enough to set the bedtime clock going. When you choose to do this thing, it is really important to stick to your bedtime routine without fail for the ten days and it needs to be between 20 and 45 minutes long. Also, this plan also applies to naps, so you need to be able to be at home for naptimes - just until Dd has the thing established - ten days usually does it. Lastly, you are aiming for Dd to be in bed by 7ish in the evening and not much later. If you're like me you're knackered by about half four, so starting bedtime at a quarter past six is no trouble. You've probably done all that so on to the plan. I'll do bedtimes first and then naps. 

Day 1, 2 and 3 - Place a chair right next to the cot. Make it a comfortable chair, you may get to know it fairly well. Have a duvet, cushions, iphone, book to hand. Do your bedtime routine and put Dd in the cot awake. She may well not know what to do next and try all sorts of things. If she stands up you can gently pop her back down again but only a few times - if she insists on standing for a bit then let her - it may just be one of those things she incorporates into her own burgeoning routine, and I daresay she is capable of getting back down again by now. You can pat the bed to let her know you want her to lie down. Sooner or later she is likely to sit down for a bit and eventually plop on to her front. She has to find her own way through this so she may try eating her blanket or playing with a toy before she lies down - that's up to her. If she cries, you can pat her and speak to her. As long as you remember that your patting and comforting is not there to get her to sleep, just to help her calm down in this new and confusing situation so as soon as she starts to settle, lighten your touch with a view to taking your hand off her, and stop speaking. She may go back and forth a bit needing you to touch and speak to her a few more times, but each time lessen your touch when she has settled. Stay there until she has fallen fast asleep and creep out. This bit can take ten minutes for some babies, but most fall asleep after 45 minutes. Two hours is the longest on record! I expected Dc2 to be a two hour effort but no - 45 minutes almost exactly. As long as you know that it is going to take that long, you can get through it. When she wakes up in the night, you do exactly the same thing, each and every time. The first few times she wakes, she will probably yell for you, but as she gets the idea that she can drift back to sleep herself, she may just squeak and go back (sounds unlikely? I thought that too.) The idea is that as time goes on you can wait a tiny bit longer before you go in, to give her the opportunity to practise her new skill.

Days 4, 5 and 6 - move the chair a few feet away from the cot. Keep everything else the same except you are further away. Once you have had your bedtime cuddle and put her in the cot sit down. You can still go to her if she really needs you, and you can still speak to her but she may not need as much help by now. Again, wait until she is asleep before you leave. Repeat as often as necessary when she wakes although, again, leave it a few minutes before you go in.

Days 7, 8 and 9 - move the chair to the door or the other side of the room. Make sure she can still see you, but once you have settled her in her cot and gone to the chair try not to go to her unless she has got herself into a daft position and can't get out. By now she will start developing her own strategy to get to sleep, and you will be able to tell what stage she is at, because you've been watching it all the way through.

Day 10 - you have several choices. If you think things are going really well and baby can cope with you not being there  you can leave the room and see how she gets on. You can hover by the door out of sight and watch what happens, and  reassure her with your voice. If you feel apprehensive about it and think she needs longer you can try the Bustle -  instead of sitting down, tinker about in her room, cleaning up or folding washing or whatever. Or you can continue in the  chair.  The idea of the plan is ultimately for you to be able to plonk and go, but I quite like spending that extra time with DC so I  use a mixture of the bustle and the chair. For night wakings you now really have to give her the chance to go back on her  own. Wait ten minutes ( I know - such a long time!) before you go in.  I got up last night to Þ nd by the time I got to DC's  door, she'd already curled up again! That's the main brunt of it. Just bear in mind that the first couple of nights are the worst - she might wake more frequently,  but stick at it and you'll see an improvement. The other thing is that when they start sleeping longer in the night they get  up properly a bit too early in the morning - but this usually improves over a few weeks as they get the hang of sleeping.  I've kind of assumed that you are going to move her into her own room - there's no reason you can't start this as soon as  you move her in. If DC get ill and it disrupts her sleep, go back to whichever stage in the plan you think works best. You can sleep in her  room if you want to keep an eye on her, but don't bring her in with you.

Naps - Do the same for naps as you do at night times only you can't sit there for as long as it takes - give it an hour and if  she hasn't gone to sleep, get her up and feed her or do something different and try again a bit later. If she resists  napping like this twice in a day you can resort to taking her out in the buggy or something. just so she gets a bit of sleep  in the day. You are aiming at two solid naps a day by the way. If you've started this thing at bedtime the night before, the  nap thing is usually not a problem.  I can't think of anything else right now! By the way this is based on a Canadian lady's idea. I chose to use it because it  doesn't mean leaving a baby to cry. They learn to fall asleep without you intervening, although you might argue that your  presence is a sort of intervention, but before long you will find yourself saying goodnight and shutting the door, because  she'd not taking any notice of you anymore!" ^

So for us the First night it took 3 hours 10mins, which is why for nightwakings later on that night I just fed her instead of  sitting with her. Within the first few nights she woke LOADS less and then DH would go to her and he would just ask her  to put her head down and she would and go straight back to sleep. Needless to say that sort of thing just wouldn't  happen before. So if I remember rightly it was only after 4 or 5 nights that I stopped feeding her. The other thing we've  found a bit hard is waiting a few mins before going in to her when she wakes. We just give it one or two minutes more  than we'd usually do instead of waiting 10.  

DH would like to add that he thinks the important thing is to teach DC to put their head down and close their eyes - he  says' put your head down, put your head down, now close your eyes' and repeats it a bit like a mantra gently until DD  does, and then stops as soon as she does what he says. He says for our 9month old that after a week she knows what it  means and does what he suggests! He says that this is useful in the night and that's all he needs to do to get her to go back to sleep.

For the first night I recommend a large glass of wine that you take in with you. For the second night, have  the bottle waiting for you on the table in the lounge. Also on the first night we both did it together for a bit of moral  support and took it in turns but I'm assuming that none of you is as much as a wimp as I am.

I hope this isn't too much of a mess, my friend's writing is very clear, and mine is all over the shop. I'm just a bit  enthusiastic about how its gone. I hope this is of use to someone.

NameChange30 Sun 23-Jul-17 06:24:54


user1492254707 Sat 15-Apr-17 12:24:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

user1474565301 Sat 15-Apr-17 06:43:57

That should have said 'keeps standing'

user1474565301 Sat 15-Apr-17 06:32:03

Can I ask if anyone has done this method with a 14 month old or similar please? I'm trying at the moment and my daughter keeps standard and throwing her comforter over the side. She won't settle without it, but throws it, I'm guessing to get attention or have control.

SweetRoseSweet Fri 10-Mar-17 16:15:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Millipede170 Tue 07-Mar-17 16:40:36

Done it - the title went a bit screwy but you get the idea!

scottishbride Mon 06-Mar-17 21:55:01

Oooo, I've never started a new thread, but I really appreciate your support and enjoy catching up. Maybe a thread for people trying to break bad sleep habits, I can see that I will likely substitute feeding for some other comfort I can provide!
I thought your comment about self soothing was soooo true! Just because ds can go to sleep on his own initially does not mean he'll put himself back to sleep!
I think we're still teething here, proper screaming and trying to eat his fingers and sleeves, never normally does this! So more brufen tonight. I want to go back to my 3 wake ups and working out how to stop feeding at the last one - which I agree is not quite what the OP had in mind!

Millipede170 Mon 06-Mar-17 14:00:31

I'm feeling the same! Should we start a new thread? For people trying to stop feeding to sleep? Neither of us has managed to keep up with the OP's method have we...

scottishbride Sun 05-Mar-17 20:17:19

Hello my old/new friend! wink

How is the nappy rash? I feel a bit of a fraud on this thread now - we had an awful night on Friday night, ds up every hour and very difficult to settle - even in my bed which I was hoping would guarantee sleep. I handed him to my dad at 7am and went back to bed for an hour.
But then he slept for 4 hours all the way back home - I went to pull into nearly every services after 2 hours but didn't want to wake him!
Anyway, Iast night was a bit better, but I'm feeling like a fraud because I've started feeding him to sleep again in the night - except once last night, and dh is still putting him down awake so not all the way backwards.

Just read back on here how things have improved, so need to top up with brufen and calpol when needed then try the cot settling again!
Well done with the naps, hope that it did lead to more sleep!

Fingers crossed for tonight - DH at work tomorrow so I'm on the night shift....although he had a migraine last night so me anyway!

Millipede170 Sat 04-Mar-17 21:31:59

How did last night work out for you?

We had an ok night, a couple of wake ups but DS self settled a further couple of times too. The nappy rash is now awful (lots of nappy free time tomorrow) so I have him brufen before his naps and he pushed out 2 lovely long naps - that's not happened in months! Maybe he was stoned 🙊 I'm not expecting a good night tonight, he has been up once already in pain - teeth, bum, maybe both sad Will let this subside I reckon before I try and make any further changes.

Hope you have a good one. Nice to have some company while we navigate this journey!! 😉

scottishbride Fri 03-Mar-17 22:10:08

Yay! Definite progress, well done!

How odd, teething here too, but this will be number 3 just breaking through! So after a 5 hour sleep to start the night, then an easy feed and put down, 2 hours later he was awake for 2 hours! I gave brufen and calpol poor toot.
Last night at my parents tonight. I went to a funeral today so my dad had ds for an hour then he came to the pub and so had no sleep till half 3 so that made bedtime difficult cos he was under tired and he's woken once already!

I just want to get through tonight then back into a more normal routine with dh tomorrow night. It's great to hear how things have turned round for you, despite the ups and significant downs, you're inspiring me and giving hope!

Millipede170 Fri 03-Mar-17 21:08:12

How did you get on at your parents'? Hope he gave you a good night - they can surprise you sometimes!

We cut our first tooth today! Which explains the awful nights and horrible nappy rash I reckon. Last night was a bit better again, even got a 4 hour stretch 😮 from 1-5am. The real progress tho is that I'm not having to do all that much to calm him and then he's going back to sleep without my help which I'm delighted about. It's still fragile for sure, but there is progress!

scottishbride Thu 02-Mar-17 22:12:48

Aaaargh! It's like 2 steps forward and one back, isn't it?! I guess the teething and nappy rash could explain the wake ups and why he's struggling to settle, sounds reasonable to wait for these to pass then reassess.

I'm staying with ds at my parents tonight so he's in strange surroundings! Lots of screaming in the bath but I put him down awake at half six cos he seemed tired and still asleep now so a reasonable start to the night! This is the first time I've not coslept with him at my parents so they're quite surprised 😳

Fingers crossed for a better night all round!

Millipede170 Thu 02-Mar-17 19:15:17

Thank you so much scottishbride 😘 I think I have done what I feared, which is to replace one intervention with another, so I'm not teaching DS to be more independent. I need to work out how to reassure him without making him reliant on me for something else ... answers on a postcard! Meanwhile he's got a bit of diarrhoea and his first nappy rash, poor thing (teething related I reckon) so I'm not going to do anything radical until that's cleared up.

How are you getting on? x

scottishbride Thu 02-Mar-17 14:11:21

O Milli, I'm so sorry, that sounds exhausting! I've just had to read back a bit to remind myself where you started and I still think it is best not to feed to sleep.
Do you think there is anything else going on? Developmentally or teeth, because you did have your amazing 12 to 5 night when you slept in his room.
I'm sorry I can't really offer any suggestions, having a non sleeper myself but I totally sympathise with your exhaustion today, hope ds has a cot nap for you 😘😘

Millipede170 Thu 02-Mar-17 05:01:40

Ok so this has made things much much worse. DS is now waking hourly - second night in a row I've not had a wink of sleep. He took to not being picked up out of his cot and comfort fed just fine, was happy with being rolled on his side and patted. But now it's every hour. At a bit of a loss really.

FATEdestiny Wed 01-Mar-17 19:03:03

I'm not discrediting your methods here, I am a huge GW fan and often sing it's praises for baby sleep. It's just so much easier with a dummy.

Having fully devoted to GW with my youngest - now a very secure sleeping 2 year old - what also makes it easier, is keeping the cot in your room until baby is secure in there and sleeping through. Ideally a sidecar cot.

I don't know if those of you on here already have the cot in your room or not, but just thought I'd mention it.

The rush to get baby sleeping independantly makes the process longer, I think. But then I'm a fan of far more gradual withdrawal than this op. We started at about 8 weeks and by 12 months she could be put standing up in the cot with dummy, and I leave with no fuss. So I took things very slowly and gradually.

Millipede170 Wed 01-Mar-17 18:45:00

I know they can be incredibly useful (I had one until I was about 3 yrs I think, I can remember the negotiation about giving it up!) - we hit our speed bump with DS's dummy at 6 months (given at 4 months to help with his silent reflux, which you can add to your 'dummies are amazing' list) and as he was nowhere near dexterous enough to put things in his mouth at that stage, we decided not to wait but to get rid. I tried again the other week just in case he'd get back into his groove with the dummy, but no dice sadly.

So yes, I totally see the benefits but when faced with months of replacing it every 45 minutes we chose to make a clean break. I definitely wouldn't dissuade others from using one.

FATEdestiny Wed 01-Mar-17 16:56:55

He was still too young to find it and pop it back on himself

Yes, at 6 months old. By about 8 months he'd have been able to do it himself though. And what is he now, 10 months? If he settled with a dummy, as long as he could find it in the night, you'd already have a consistant self settler.

Dummy settling also help with naps
And extending nap lengths.
And independant sleeping at night.
And self settling.
And getting in a deep sleep, so reducing light sleep wakes.

Dummies Are Amazing.

Millipede170 Wed 01-Mar-17 16:10:03

Re: dummy, for us it was the cherry type that seemed to appeal most. I had to work at it tho - substituted boob-to-sleep for rocking while gently holding the dummy in his mouth, but very quickly went from that to putting him in his cot awake with the dummy and just sitting in the room while he nodded off. Double edged sword tho like I say; when it got to the point he was waking every 45 mins wanting it putting back in, the dummy had to go. He was still too young to find it and pop it back on himself.

Millipede170 Wed 01-Mar-17 14:13:02

Not a great night. Only 2 short naps in the day (I offered a third in the car he wasn't having it) so I put him to bed knowing he'd likely be overtired. Bed at 18.30, up at 21.45, 23.15, 03.00 til 04.00 (urgh), Self settled at 05.30 then woke at 7. Husband came home from work at 2 and I couldn't get back to sleep from 05.30. So my night was fairly horrific and I had a good howl this morning (it helps, it really does).

If I can draw out any positives though, DS rolled over from front to back by himself (a first) and spent a long time trying to settle himself between 3 & 4am while I just sat. Eventually tho he got frustrated, much crying, pooped his nappy which needed changing and took a feed 🙄 But I am hoping that this means he will gradually learn to get himself comfortable and work out his self settling routine. I am trying to interfere as little as possible, per the original plan! Oh, and not going to him until he definitely needs attention, i.e. past the moaning/fussing stage.

Definitely getting more wakeups now than before tho 😭

Pissedoffinsomniac Wed 01-Mar-17 14:00:02

Thanks Millipede am also hoping a change in routine by going to the childminder encourages more of a willingness to nap. Did your DS take a dummy straight away? Have tried 3 different types with DD and she's just not interested.

Pissedoffinsomniac Wed 01-Mar-17 13:58:14

Thanks scottishbride my DD is the same, a co-sleeper cot just isn't close enough! Will give your advice a go when hubby back from working away, not doing it all on my own. Am so soft I can't bear DD crying so will need to some back up to remain consistent

scottishbride Wed 01-Mar-17 12:51:49

How was last night?
Still teething here, ds went down awake at 7 and wriggled himself to sleep. Then woke screaming at 11 and I gave him some calpol and a feed, slept till 2. Tried settling in the cot but ended up feeding as easy option and he went till 5.15, quick feed then up at 7.15.

When the teething finishes if it's still a 3 wakes a night pattern I will pick a feed to try and drop to 2.

Pissedoff- my ds coslept from birth I guess really, although we had a snuzpod, it didn't seem to be close enough to me for him! From 6 and a half months we tried putting him in the cot after bedtime routine and he slowly got the hang of it, but I would bring him into bed with me at about 2. From 9 months ish he started waking hourly and I was dying. We were just about to try sleep training then he slept six hours! I do think that they do things when they are ready but if you have a bedtime routine try ending it in a cot and see what happens. Ds likes his own space now.

Milli I have heard the same thing about nurseries and have personal experience via my sister. Her ds would only nap in the pram but from starting nursery he did 2 hours after lunch and still does now, aged 2!

Millipede170 Tue 28-Feb-17 20:55:59

pissedoff I haven't I'm afraid, we don't co-sleep. But I introduced a dummy with my DS at 4 months which broke the feeding to sleep pattern and he started falling asleep independently. 2 months down the line he was waking every 45 mins thru the night when it fell out so it had to go, but it had its benefits.

I am marginally worried about DS's naps when I go back to work in 6 weeks too. But I've heard that the most unexpected things can happen with the change of environment, and they'll do things at nursery/with the childminder that they'd never entertain in a million years at home. Fingers crossed!

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